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What card is the right card?

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April 25, 2001 5:30:49 PM

Okay, I looked through 5 pages of posts and didn't find anything like my question, so I figured it was safe to ask. So here goes. This summer, I will be building a system based on a 1.2 GHz T-bird. As to the mobo, I'm not sure, but I hope that won't affect my video card purchase. If things go as planned, I will have around $1,000US to spend, but can spend more if nessicary. So the question is this: With the new Kyro II, which for $150US is probably the best card out there, coming out soon, as well as the GeForce3, I really would like to know, what should I get? I understand that Kyro II is limited, and may not age well, since it doesn't have an onboard T&L processor, but with a 1.2 GHz, would that really make much of a difference? Also, since memory bandwidth is not a problem with the tile-based rendering, that isn't a concern. The only concern with it I have is DX8 support, and the new "optimizations" that will come around with the GeForce3. Now, with a GeForce3, I won't have to upgrade (I hope) for at least a 18 months, maybe even more, and with the KyroII, if the soothsayers are correct, a card without progamability in 9-12 months will be so obsolete that you will almost be forced to get a new card just to be able to play the new games properly. So, do I get a Kyro II now, and upgrade in a year or so, a GeForce2 Pro 64MB that I hope won't need upgrading for at least 18 months, or go all out and get the GeForce3, and not worry about upgrades for 24 months or more? Money, since I will be using "connections" to get deals on everything else, isn't a problem, but later on, when an upgrade is needed, it might be. Thanks all.

-SammyBoy

Without Evil, there can be no Good, and without Good, what is there?

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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 25, 2001 9:25:22 PM

there will be a lot of different sugestions here...
;) 

But I think that geforce 2 pro is no more future prof than kyro 2, It lacks those directx8 features of geforce 3 like kyro 2...

if games start using those features (maybe we will have to wait more than 12-16 months)
Then you will have to upgrade ( with a kyro 2 or a geforce 2 pro)
...

kyro 2 have something great!
kyro is not bandwidth limited so it will fly on higher res and 32 bits color

I think you will save a lot of cash if you don't buy now a directx8 card

There are no reasons to do that now (no games with those features) <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by powervr2 on 04/25/01 09:27 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
April 25, 2001 11:59:38 PM

hmmm... a Tbird 1.2G
pretty fast. i think you would want something a little faster than a Kryo2 to go withit.
nothing wrong with the kryo2, but i dont really think it has the performance to match the tbird, IF you are making a games machine.
maybe wait a while for the prices of gts2 ultra's or 3's to come down.
any mainstream card will be kinda hobbling your system a bit.

hope this helps, if not, dont flame me lol

ThePoo!
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April 26, 2001 12:42:43 AM

I would wait and see what ati does. The new Radeon II is due out soon. It will not only drive up the price war stakes, but its performance might be unparalleled. Either way, I wouldn't be making a decision now.

- Tartarhus

Only hasbro has the right to a monopoly.
April 26, 2001 1:21:18 AM

Kyro should run well in your future system besides Tom's Hardware just did a review on one with the same speed CPU. Whats best for you depends really on what you want to do and how much money you can afford to invest. I just rattle off to the best of my knowledge the advantages of each card.

1. GF3, most modern up to date video card which shouldn't be obsolete even a year from now. DX8 compliant not sure about OpenGL 1.2 compliant. Fastest in FSAA and compares to an Ultra in performance on most present games and should do much better on the future games.

2. GF2 pros/ultras top gaming cards with some of the most stabliest drivers of any video card, best in Linux, very good in W2k.

3. Radeons, best video orientated cards available as in DVD quality and Video In/Video out. Fully OpenGL 1.2 compliant. Outstanding 2d quality with good 32bit gameing comparable to a GF2. Very good prices on all models.

4. Kyro2 outstanding FSAA and high resolution game playing with current games using high power cpu's. Expected excellent prices after release.

5. Matrox 400/450 best 2d quality for a commercial video card.

Other considerations is what operating systems are you using and planning on using:

1. GF lines - W2K, W9x, Linux, Mac. Very good drivers in all

2. Radeon lines - Good W9x, Average W2k, poor linux, very good Beos, good Mac

3. Matrox - not sure

4. Kyro2 - not sure

If you tell us more in what you want to do with your computer I think you will get a better responses. For example if you spend long hours programming HTML or do photshop work only then maybe the Matrox would be better for you. If you want to have multiple operating systems including Linux, hard core gamer then a nVidia card maybe better. Video stuff, 2d stuff and games maybe a Radeon would be better. If you are a franatic about flight simulators then either a GF3 or the Kyro2 would fit the bill pretty good due to the outstanding FSAA.
April 26, 2001 2:05:32 AM

I would be using my system for gaming, mostly of the RPG, RTS, and sims. The more I can get out of a system, the better. Currently, I wish to run Black & White, but am unable to due to my comp being a 300 PII. Also, Balder's Gate 2 and other graphic intensive, CPU intensive games. Thanks, keep the responses coming.

-SammyBoy

Without Evil, there can be no Good. Therefore, without an Intel, there can be no AMD.
April 26, 2001 2:14:59 AM

Based on how much you are into sims (simulators) either a GF3 or a Kyro2. Not sure of what operating system you are going to use. The other games you mention should play just fine on both of these cards considering your cpu.
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 26, 2001 5:06:13 AM

If you love playing BG2 and are looking at playing Never Winter Nights, then GET a Gforce3 as it's packed full with T&L in the game at night time...and it's a game you'll need T&L at night so I won't backstab j00! *hehe*

Never be afraid to try new things. Remember, amateurs built the Ark - professionals made the Titanic
April 26, 2001 9:25:15 AM

I am running into a similar upgrade prob. When would the GF3 be in the 300$ range? And why is there much controversy as to when the Radeon II is coming? Some say it's "99%" complete.

Sh!t Happens.
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 26, 2001 11:06:09 AM

My answer depends on when this summer you mean. If you are talking about doing this 3 months or more from now, I would *definitely* recommend getting a GeForce 3 or other fully DirectX 8 compliant card, if another is out by then. But take your time with this. Things move too fast in this industry: If you decide on the best card choice now, but don't buy it for 3 months, it won't be the best choice anymore by the time you buy it. Watch the market now, but make your final decision right before you buy.

Also read this from Tom's <A HREF="http://www.tomshardware.com/technews/technews-20010425...." target="_new"> April 25 Tech News:</A>

<font color=red> "Suggested price (MSRP from NVIDIA) for the board using Nvidia's newest chip will be $399, about a third less than previously announced. Other boards will experience similar reductions." </font color=red>

The only reason not to get a GF3 now, as it is by far the best card available, is the price. But according to this the street price on the GF3 could be well under $399 by the time you buy. If this is so, I would see no reason to get anything except a GeForce 3, which will also last you the longest. Well, unless by chance the Radeon II is out by then for a good price. :cool: In that case you would have more research to do. Again, keep your options open up until you are ready to order. Noko's post gave a very good overview of the main cards to get you started.

Regards,
Warden
April 26, 2001 4:46:06 PM

noko~ Interesting comparison. Your statements - re Matrox and GF2 confirm what my wife and I have noticed on our own systems (posted <A HREF="http://forumz.tomshardware.com/modules.php?name=Forums&..." target="_new">HERE</A>). BTW, I have also heard that the only card that delivers (BOTH) good 2D and 3D are the Radeons. Do you think the Radeon's image-quality is as good as Matrox???
April 26, 2001 5:29:26 PM

Quote:
If things go as planned, I will have around $1,000US to spend, but can spend more if nessicary.

Sounds like one of those 'unlimited budget' plans to me......Platinum cards rule.

The Geforce 3 is going to run upwards of $350 when it's release (just like the Geforce 2 ultra). It'll last for 18 months, as long as you crank down all the rendering goodies as time goes on.

A Geforce 2 GTS can be found for $130, but you'll have to turn down (slightly) the gfx settings as soon as you buy it. A GTS pro runs about $20 more, and gets a little more performance.

You can find a MX for less that $100, but you'll be running on par with a voodoo2 SLI.

If you're young (and your eyes are still good =), I'd go with the Ultra or Geforce 3. There's probably one or two compatibility problems out there, but I've not run into them with Diablo 2, Unreal Tourney, Quake 3, Deus Ex, *cough* UltraHLE *cough*, and the 'my-god-thats-an-old-one' games. Really, the best card depends on what kinds of games/apps you'll be messing with. Do you play strategy (low action) or first-person-shooters?
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 26, 2001 7:19:41 PM

OK, granted that nothing on the market these days (except the GF3) is very future-proof. Once the whole programalbe vertex/DX8 thing starts being in wide use, all of today's cards will be left in the dust. That being said, I'm wondering what the best buy for the future is right now. If I were to buy one video card right now that I wanted to last me for a long time, would I be better to go with a Radeon, GeForce 2 of some kind, or a KyroII? Which one will be less obselete in 8 months?
April 26, 2001 8:12:13 PM

I have never compared the 2d image quality between a Matrox and the Radeon so my information is second hand. I would say the image quality between the two was very close with the edge going to Matrox. Most users actually comparing the two and commenting said prety much the above. Some did say the Radeon was better than the Matrox 450 but most just said both where really good with the Matrox slightly better. So if you do indeed get a Radeon please let us know side by side comparisons. Prefereably on the same monitor or model. From my own experience on my 21" (20" viewable) older Trinitron Workstation monitor the 2d is very impressive.
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 26, 2001 9:26:24 PM

"Which one will be less obselete in 8 months?"

none will be obsolete in 8 months not even in 16 months...
;) 
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 26, 2001 9:31:02 PM

in may there will be another good 2d/3d performer kyro 2 ...
even with 300 mhz ramdac...

300 mhz is more than enough for 1600x1200 at 100 hz...
where is a monitor that can deliver this ???
;) 

the problem with all the ramdac is noise... less noise more quality...
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 26, 2001 9:38:41 PM

aren't you forgeting something ?
*cough* kyro 2 *cough*,
;) 
<font color=red> " A Geforce 2 GTS can be found for $130, but you'll have to turn down (slightly) the gfx settings as soon as you buy it. "</font color=red>

kyro 2 will not be like that...

even with 16 bits kyro 2 have the same performance than with 32 bits...
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 26, 2001 9:48:47 PM

Do you think that it's a good buying choise to buy a geforce 3 now?

and wait 1 year or more for a game that use their's directx8 features?
by the time of those games there will be better cards out there (nvidia 6 months cycle will take care of that)

My advise is:
buy a kyro 2 you will get better FSAA, better 32 bits, better performance on higher depths,etc...

by the way, black and white runs extremelly well on a kyro 1 (it will run better on a kyro 2, of course)

you will save lots of money...
you could buy a budget directx8 card in a year time better than a geforce 3!
;) 

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by powervr2 on 04/26/01 05:56 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
April 27, 2001 1:54:52 AM

powervr2,
I hope you realize that the Kyro2 is not the ideal card for everybody. It does fall short. If you are a linux programmer and programming for linux games then any nVidia GF lines would be the best. Thats just one example. If you are into high quality video on a low budget then a Radeon would be better. Hopefully the person picks the best card for him. I think the Kyro2 excells in a number of areas but yet I will be buying a GF2 line series shortly. Why? Because I want a decent card in Linux, period. I still love my Radeon and I am greatly satisfied if not tickled at the performance but still it won't do Linux even remotely as good as a nVidia card. Will I ditch my Radeon over that? NO WAY!! I will build another computer system for my Linux training. Just a perspective, thats all.
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 27, 2001 2:29:43 AM

That's where I need to ask my question! I have CardExpert GeForce2 MX (Oclocked from 175/166 to 250/250) that shows lots of frames (enough for me). Games eem to reuire more and more. I'm going to get another card this Christmas, NVIDIA will probobly have something like GeForce4. I have 800Mhz T-bird and I wonder what's better upgrade my CPU (get something like 1.3Ghz) or get like the best card during this Christmas??? What's bettr for gaming??
April 27, 2001 2:41:24 AM

Probably a more powerful graphics card. When you are not satisfied with the performance of your game play is when I recommend updating your graphics card.
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 27, 2001 9:51:11 AM

manarch,
I would upgrade the graphics card first just like noko here says. It would make a much bigger difference in your gaming than a new CPU, especially since you only have a GF2 MX currently.

powervr2,
Quote:
<font color=blue> Do you think that it's a good buying choice to buy a geforce 3 now?

and wait 1 year or more for a game that use their's directx8 features?
by the time of those games there will be better cards out there (nvidia 6 months cycle will take care of that) </font color=blue>

The next best thing is always around the corner, but you have to break down and buy something eventually. :smile: There are two main philosophies on this: buy cheaper, lower performance cards and upgrade again soon, or buy more expensive, faster cards which last longer. You go with what works for you and your budget.

SammyBoy's question specifically stated that he had the money now (or will have this summer when he buys) but that later he might not have a lot for upgrades. This means that he needs hardware that will last the longest. Even if the GeForce 4 was coming out in a month, the GeForce 3 would still be the CURRENT card which would last the longest.

Also you have to remember that there is a MAJOR technology jump between the current gen cards and the GeForce 3. John Carmack says, <font color=red> "I haven't had such an impression of raising the performance bar since the Voodoo 2 came out, and there are a ton of new features for programmers to play with."</font color=red> Technology jumps are more important than speed increases, even if they show little improvement on current titles. It has been a year and a half since you could buy a card that will last as long as the GeForce 3 will.

And again, with NVIDIA cutting the price on them, the GeForce 3 will soon be available at a price that should be called a steal (less than ultra boards were a month ago) considering that they are in a class of their own.

Regards,
Warden
!